Yesterday, we remembered one hundred years since the guns fell silent in World War One – 1100 hours on the 11th of November 1918.
In Wellington, the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery fired a 100-gun salute ending in silence at 11am. Services around the country were capped off admirably with the sunset ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.
Pukeahu, which opened in April 2015, was built to create a space around the National War Memorial, which includes the Carillon, the Hall of Memories and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. It is the national place for New Zealanders to remember and reflect on this country’s experience of war, military conflict and peacekeeping, and how that experience shapes our ideals and sense of national identity. It was driven into being by the vision of one man – the Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage at the time, Hon Christopher Finlayson. Mihi Koe – Thank You.
For four years, the New Zealand Defence Force has provided an incredible presence, both at home and overseas, in order to commemorate the many significant events that represent our nation’s involvement in WWI. From honour guards to colour parties, Maori cultural group and bands, horses, guns, ships, vehicles and aircraft, translators and guides the NZDF contribution has been nothing short of extraordinary. Mihi Koe – Thank You.
The commemoration has been superbly coordinated by Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, supported by a large number of other Government and local Government agencies, non-governmental organisations, iwi, charities and more. Mihi Koe – Thank You.
It wouldn’t be a proper commemoration without acknowledging the service personnel and the families of those who served, both then and now. Mihi Koe – Thank You.
The WWI commemoration will continue into 2019 noting the anniversary of when our troops arrived home. You can follow that on https://ww100.govt.nz/ . Let’s now turn those thousands of white crosses into flames of freedom and hope.
Mihi Koe – Thank You.
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